Within a couple minutes running time of Trading Secrets, I'd figured it out.
This is not to say that Trading Secrets is a completely and utterly predictable film. After all, I'm a film journalist devoted to covering the indie film scene and in the hundreds of shorts I see a year there's really not a whole lot ot storylines that haven't crossed my desk.
So, what is familiar to me may very well be fresh and entertaining to an average moviegoer.
Keep that in mind.
Directed by Jason Head, Trading Secrets centers around Matt (Dan Kyle), who is out on his first date since his wife left with the delightful June (Laura Welsh). Struggling at first with the basics of that "first date," June constructs a game of "trading secrets," an ice breaker of sorts that reveals quiet pleasantries and not so comfortable truths that are both revealing and compelling. After the first date, Matt must return home to the realities of his broken marriage and undeniable truths.
Trading Secrets is an intriguing film, an interesting concept that never quite gels into a film as suspenseful as it needs to be to be truly effective. Dan Kyle's Matt is never quite the wounded soul one would think he would be following the break in his marriage, perhaps an intentional artistic choice but one that makes his subsequent journey less compelling and considerably less surprising. Laura Welsh's June, on the other hand, feels like an almost noirish figure out of another film, though Welsh plays her with such utter conviction and delight that she draws you in anyway. It's hard not to get a sense of squeamish tension, though much of that is borne out of the hope that June's red flags fly high. Individually, the two actors are just fine and, somewhat justifiably, together there's an awkwardness that unfolds through Matt's evolving persona.
Trading Secrets is set for its world premiere in the "Made in Washington" Block of shorts screening at the Seattle Shorts Film Festival on Sunday, November 13th at 4:45pm at SIFF Film Center. For more information, visit the Seattle Shorts website.